At least once this school holiday you’re more than likely to take a trip to McDonald's for a quick lunch or McFlurry.

Until September 10 2017, you can make your visit to McDonald's extra special by checking to see if there will be a ‘Character Visit’ taking place.

In August, Gene from the Emoji Movie is visiting select McDonald's restaurants across the UK and we went along to our local restaurant to find out what the visits are all about.

For the uninitiated, Gene is one of the main characters from the Emoji Movie and he’s helping to keep the family entertained at weekends and during the school holidays. In restaurant, Gene and his ‘happy crew’ will have you involved in a series of fun, songs and games including:

  • Head, shoulders, knees and toes

  • Simon says (transformed into Gene says)

  • Guess who

  • Guess the emotion charades

  • Sticking and colouring in

Don’t worry if your child is on the quiet or shy side, the happy crew team will make sure they have a turn leading the activities. They’ll also do their best to get Mum and Dad involved too and we say, why not – it’s a great way to get down on the kids’ level and do something they enjoy. The crew also set aside time for pictures so there’s a great memory of your time with Gene.

The character visit lasts an hour and a half and you can stay for as much as it as you please. We were there for an hour and during the school holidays, anything that helps keep the kids entertained is a family good time for us!

There were around 15 children in the restaurant when we visited, ranging from a babe in arms (who wasn’t sure if he knew who or what Gene was at first – he came round in the end) through to 11 and 12 year olds who despite earlier protests, did get involved with the fun and games after about ten minutes.

Find out which character is visiting your nearest McDonald's and when by entering your postcode here.

If you go along to any of the family events, tag us on social media @thelondonmother using the hashtag #familygoodtimes.